Trellis is an open-source multi-purpose L2/L3 leaf-spine switching fabric. The development of Trellis over the last four years has been influenced by three core trends in the networking industry:
- First, Trellis is built using bare-metal switches with merchant-silicon ASICs. Instead of using OEM networking hardware, Trellis uses hardware directly from ODMs. The trend of using bare-metal (white-box) switches is unmistakable in the networking industry today, spurred by the massive bandwidth-density and growing sophistication of merchant silicon ASICs. Production quality Trellis today is based on EdgeCore switches with Broadcom Trident2, Tomahawk and Qumran switch ASICs. The Trellis team continues to work towards including more ODMs and merchant silicon vendors.
- Second, Trellis is based on SDN principles, to provide simpler, more flexible and easily customizable networks. By externalizing the network’s control, management functions and policy decisions in the ONOS SDN controller, Trellis provides network operators with a number of SDN benefits compared to traditional box-embedded network control. These include centralized configuration, automation, operation and troubleshooting.
- Third, Trellis is open-source. The networking industry has seen an explosion of open source projects, and network operators have been eager to embrace open-source solutions. Trellis allows operators unparalleled ability to customize Trellis for their application, integrate with the rest of their systems, add features and APIs themselves and not be beholden to a traditional vendor’s timelines and prices. An absence of commercial licenses lowers the bar for anyone to try out Trellis.
Together, all three attributes of Trellis considerably lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for operators who plan to run it in production.
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